Month: July 2011

Pharmacies say cuts would hurt access

California’s independent pharmacists say recent budget cuts could put an end to local, independently owned pharmacies, impeding access to pharmaceuticals for low-income and disabled Californians who rely on Medi-Cal to pay for their prescriptions. Medi-Cal is the State’s publically funded health insurance program and the State is calling for a 10% cut in the program’s budget.

At California senior centers, resources dwindle

Resourcefulness and a little luck are fueling senior center staff across the state, advocates say. Municipalities operate 60 percent of California’s 800 senior centers. As municipal revenues dwindle, fewer and fewer resources are trickling down to fund services for seniors. “What we’ve been seeing in this environment in the last five years is a reduction in resources and consolidation of recreational programs,” said Sandi Fitzpatrick, California Commission on Aging Director.

Youth center in “killer corridor” helps kids thrive

The lobby of the East Oakland Youth Development Center should feel institutional, with its cinderblock walls painted white, scuffed but clean blue linoleum tile floor and tiled drop ceiling. Instead, the small lobby brims with the lively sounds of young people laughing and sneakers squeaking, spilling down the hall from the gym.

In the midst of the liveliness, a young boy sat alone on a bench, head low, shoulder hunched. Regina Jackson, the center’s director for the past 17 years, strode down the hall towards him, dressed in jeans, a crisp polo shirt and polished sneakers. She was slightly out of breath from joining the kids in the races in the gym.

Jackson was about to put the Center’s philosophy of change into action.

Brown vetoes adult health day care bill

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Monday that would have created a new program to replace the Adult Health Day Care centers the state is eliminating to save money in the budget. The centers serve mostly older Californians – about 37,000 people a year – who are at risk of being placed in nursing homes. In his veto message, Brown said the new program, while requiring less funding at first, would essentially be a duplicate of the one he was eliminating. He said he didn’t see the point of doing that.

Black-Brown Alliance in Richmond

The women stood in a large circle. With their eyes shut and heads titled toward the floor, each prayed to God to keep each other and Richmond safe. At the navel of the circle was a container with fresh flowers—a type of gift for the occasion. The occasion— the gathering of more than 40 Latinas and African American women to heal Richmond’s racial wounds —was something that had been in the works for nearly two years, says Amahra Hicks, a board member of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and co-organizers of the meet up.

Bridge to reform has Central Valley counties on uncertain ground

California’s Bridge to Reform program will give thousands of medically uninsured Northern San Joaquin Valley adults access to primary care in the next few years. But it will leave tens of thousands still without coverage, and doesn’t address one of the valley’s biggest impediments to health care access – a shortage of primary care and specialty physicians.

Meeting the needs of LGBT seniors

LGBT seniors came of age in a culture hostile to gay people. While the days of considering homosexuality a disease and a crime may be over for good, homophobia still affects the health of older gay people. The three biggest issues affecting the health of LGBT seniors are isolation, a lack of traditional family structures and economic insecurity, issues that are often intertwined, advocates say.

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